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Tangle and Wind and Beguile

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Yuri Plisetsky did not like old shit.

Old people were one thing. He liked old people. He finally felt his age when he was around 60 to 70 year olds who scorned other trend-adherent teens, who could relate to his hatred of everything that was In Vogue. These were his people. They sang his music.

Old shit – bits and baubles of fads long past, ripe with the stench of age, having bits falling off – this junk was agony to handle. It always built up in long-forgotten corners of houses, and it seemed like it took every decade or so for someone to remember that the junk was even there. Then, of course, there would be this huge effort of sorting it all out, determining which junk was lesser junk, what was nostalgic junk, and finally, what was just crap. The lattermost of which was then also sorted into what could be pawned off and what could be – finally, at long last – thrown the fuck out.

It was the weekend, and he was with his grandfather, who – in a fit of pique – decided to overhaul the attic of his old home to make space for a work station. The man was spry for his age, and did woodworking in addition to his job as a plumber and all-around handyman. He told Yuri that constant movement kept him healthy, and so far, Yuri had no reason to doubt him.

Unfortunately, this fit of pique left Yuri holding a big garbage bag of stuff to take back to the city where he lived, to deposit at the nearest pawn shop. Nikolai Plisetsky lived nearer to rivers and forests than brokers and consignment shops, and figured the city would fetch him better prices.

Which is how Yuri Plisetsky ended up bartering – of all fucking things – with a strange lady in a smelly old shop at the edge of the main thoroughfare. She had called him over, and Yuri, seeing the Russian Blue sitting daintily on a stack of fraying books, obliged her.

“I could give you some jewelry – a handsome young man like you must be courting someone.”

Like hell I am. “No, I don’t really want to exchange these things for more things,” he explained, in an exasperated tone he reserved for strangers whose presence he’d rather have vacated by now. “Money would be great.” His usual snappish tone was dampened by the grey cat curling around his hand. The Russian Blue was very affectionate, and Yuri scratched under its chin like an offering.

“Ah – I see. No room in your heart for ‘something borrowed’ eh?” she sounded like she was half-crazy, so Yuri decided not to get too mean and tell her to shove it. “Alright, I know these aren’t your things you’re pawning anyway. Did you steal them?”

An open scoff. “Fuck no, it’s all my grandpa’s – I’m helping him out, ‘cuz he lives too far out from the city.” No question as to how she guessed – the items weren’t something a fifteen year old would own.

There was something in her expression that changed, the manic around her eyes ebbing. She hadn’t flinched at his expletive, which placed her in better company. “I’ll take what you offer, and give you a fair price. Wait here a moment.” It took little time for her to rummage around the back of her store and return with a small locked bin. “Here. I can only pay this, but you can take a treasure or two as well. Deal?”

By this point, Yuri just wanted to go back to his apartment so he could play video games and sleep. The itch to practice had been intolerable, but he couldn’t go to the rink without Yakov – and Yakov had a thing about being bothered on his time off. But he didn’t do his grandfather a disservice; the price seemed pretty good for the pile he was lugging around (some of it being broken). “Yeah, sure. Thanks.”

Dutifully he picked through the bin, his face the perfect picture of disinterest. He could grab something for his grandfather, but it would probably end up being in the Old Junk category the next time the house had to be cleaned out so Yuri refrained. A few records of completely unknown punk bands caught his eye, as well as a small catnip toy (which the unnamed Russian Blue nearly stole while he wasn’t looking), but weirdly enough his attention was snagged by something he thought he’d never see outside his grandfather’s house.

A samovar. A really beautiful, classical urn-shaped samovar, if Yuri was being honest. It was smaller than any other one he’d ever seen, and looked more Middle Eastern than Russian in origin. If one dared to ask how Yuri, of all people, could tell the difference, he would probably snap something about being raised a goddamn gentleman thank you very fucking much.

His grandfather did own one, passed down through the family. It was the size of a small barrel. This one was small enough to fit in his apartment.

Apparently, his gaze lingered on it for long enough that the lady asked, “You want that one? That’s a decent choice. I’ve had it for so long. People these days use electric, but they all look like shit.”

It was certainly worth more than the pile Yuri had dragged with him. “…I can’t really pay much more for it,” he returned, the hesitancy not as well buried as he’d like.

“Pff. I said you could take anything from this bin to make up the cost I couldn’t pay in rubles. Please,” she insisted. “You know its worth – that’s plenty enough for me. Take care of it.”

Which is how he ended up with a charcoal-powered, copper samovar sitting on his counter. He wasn’t even entirely sure why he chose it, but it looked pretty damn classy. Honestly, he cleaned up his place because it didn’t look all that impressive surrounded by dirty dishes.

The smudges on it weren’t so noticeable when he was outside and overcast, but in the harsher, fluorescent lights of his apartment, they stood out. Unsure if he could use anything harsher than soap and warm water on the surface, Yuri took a rag and started wiping off the offending dirt.

The samovar shook after the first rub.

Yuri froze. If this thing had a rat hiding in it or something ….

It vibrated again, and hopped up an entire inch off the counter.

“Fuck!” Yuri shot backward, eyes wide as he made a valiant attempt at not freaking out completely. Of its own accord, the samovar rattled and tipped over, still shaking, and Yuri abruptly wished he had a gun, or a large hammer. Something that wasn’t his bare hands, so he could kill whatever popped out of the top of it if needed.

But that wasn’t what happened.

Bright blue smoke poured out of the spout, leaking through the top that still somehow remained shut. Yuri, awash in what he recognized as fear as much as panic, covered his mouth and nose with his sleeve. Amazingly, the stuff seemed to move of its own accord, pooling into one area like the kind of fog generated by dry ice and water. It didn’t creep over every available surface, and Yuri didn’t want to displace anything into his lungs, so he merely watched – bravely behind his sofa – as it continued to gather.

After what seemed like ages, the mountainous cloud dissipated, poofing into the ether abruptly. It left behind a disheveled looking young man, who seemed as surprised by this turn of events as Yuri was.

The two of them stared at each other, tension building like an acrid aftertaste.

Yuri broke first. “What the fuck?!” he screamed, making the newest (and only) guest (besides his grandpa and Yakov, on occasion) in his apartment jump at the sudden burst of noise, garnet eyes widening like a deer in headlights. “Get the FUCK OUT.” He was already reaching for his gym bag, the only thing heavy and big enough to do any real damage to another human being in his apartment. Note to self; buy a baseball bat. Add barbed wire. Name it Lilia.

“I – I’m sorry! Please – no – I’m – uh,” was the coherent response from his equally startled, completely impossible visitor. “I have to – ah!”

The last yelp was from ducking to avoid a huge black bag from slamming into his face. “I SAID GET OUT YOU FUCKING GHOST!” was Yuri’s very polite reply.

“Please stop! I’m – I’m supposed to help you!”

“For shit’s sake,” he was not going to take life lessons from a guy who popped out of a damn samovar. “GET THE HELL OUT!” There was another body-slinging swing, the whole effort of trying to hit the unexpected intruder nearly toppling Yuri.

“I’m a genie!” came the breathless squeak, which ended in an oof when the bag finally made contact and absolutely slammed the stranger into the ground.

The ridiculous statement made him stop trying to hit the other man. Yuri paused to consider, briefly, if had gone mad. Because this was a decent hallucination. “What?

Hesitating in his assault gave Yuri reason to examine the person before him, sprawled out on the ground. Honestly, he looked only a little older than Yuri himself, with black messy hair and a pair of glasses that were now very askew. He was decidedly Asian in appearance, yet he was speaking fluent Russian without a problem. Adorning him was a navy blue kimono, the faint pattern of waves along the bottom hem done up in a lighter blue. Yuri would guess he was supposed to be Japanese, but Yuri didn’t dare presume a damn thing.

The Asian man gulped for air. “I – I’m sorry for my sudden appearance, I had – I forgot you could actually summon me like that.” There was a little bow to accompany this apology.

Yuri stared hard. “Genies,” he said slowly, raising the gym bag threateningly. “Are not real.” He said this despite the fact that he’d just witnessed an impossible feat of physics. He said this because if he admitted he was terrified, everything would turn to shit.

The man in blue waved his arms wildly. “I can prove it! I’m allowed to do that, just one thing to prove I’m – that I can help you. Er. Grant wishes. I’m supposed to grant wishes.”

The guy sounded like he didn’t know what he was doing. It made him seem harmless, even if he’d just materialized in front of Yuri like a specter.

“I just want you out of my home,” Yuri was uncompromising. “Can I ‘wish’ for that?”

“I can’t – I can’t erm. I can’t leave you until all three stipulations of the contract…um. I can’t leave until I grant you three wishes. I mean – you can try to get rid of me. I’m not sure if it’ll work.”

After a moment’s consideration, Yuri lowered the gym bag. He remembered his fairy tales and fables. Djinn wishes were supposed to be poisoned gifts. Even if this weirdo wasn’t a genie, he was still some random person who’d popped into his apartment uninvited. Even if he wasn’t all that scary or threatening…at all.

…It was the principle of the thing, he thought, still angry at the circumstances. It was just so ridiculous.

Trying to get rid him wouldn’t work, eh?

Challenge. Fucking. Accepted.

The look on his face must have communicated this mental pronouncement. “What are you – no wait, don’t!” A flurry of movement; Yuri had absolutely dropped the gym bag and was now heading toward the samovar, grabbing it with both hands. The keys to his flat were still in his pocket, so he had no qualms about absolutely running out the door, leaving the stricken looking ‘genie’ behind him.

He had made it down to the garbage bins behind his building, and flung the antique straight in with the rest of the rubbish. As fast as he’d made it here, he sprinted back up to his apartment and flung open the door triumphantly.

No one was there.

Yuri declared himself the best at everything, and breathed a sigh of relief. Whether he was finally starting to crack under the pressure, or even if it had been real, Yuri did not like more complications in his life than were necessary. Everything had to be simple. (If he really was going crazy, he’d find out soon enough, he thought. Yakov would say something, surely.)

He went to sleep with victory in his heart.

 

 

--

 

 

“I hope you know that was incredibly rude and pointless.”

The itching sensation behind his eyes meant that he was being stared at, but Yuri didn’t want to wake up and find out. He knew the voice. He was not happy that he did.

“I told you – you can’t just throw me out.”

There was a very long, angry groan that could have easily been a roar, and ended abruptly in a shout: “Why not?”

Confusion was on the Asian man’s face. He was perched in a kneel, a polite distance from Yuri’s bedside, wearing the same outfit as yesterday. There was a bit more muss to his hair. He also seemed far less flustered than before, which made it a bit easier for Yuri to look at him.

“Because – because summoning me created a binding contract. As long as I want to exist, I have to fulfill it. And if you don’t, I’m stuck with you. Literally until the end of time.” Soberly, the man added, “Until the end of your life. And beyond. I couldn’t leave you even if you – if you passed on.”

That woke Yuri completely. He sat up in bed, blonde hair a complete mess and his gaze alarmed. “Are you fucking kidding? That’s complete shit.” He wasn’t sure if he hid the sympathy in his voice well enough, but he damn well tried.

The mysterious man in blue sighed. “I’m well aware.”

Sitting together for a moment, Yuri tried to shape what he wanted into words. He was still alarmed by the other man’s presence; there wasn’t precedent in his life for people appearing in a cloud of smoke after all. Out of a fucking samovar, no less. Yet another sensation was trying to claw out from under his deeply rooted suspicion, and it felt a lot like wonder.

Which was unacceptable – not unless there was actual reason for it, he thought.

“…Fine,” Yuri bit out, his green eyes sharp like knives. “I’m gonna need proof.”

There was a droop in the so-called-genie’s shoulders, a mingling of shyness and relief as he bit his lip in thought. “Um. Let me see…what – what would you like me to do?”

Well, that was a question. Honestly he couldn’t believe he was even considering bothering with this, but frankly, a dude had just popped into existence from magical blue smoke – twice. He wasn’t going to rule out anything right now. “What can’t you do?” he asked.

“Um, pretty much nothing is off limits, per se, though you should be careful about how and what you ask me to do.” There was a certain hollowness in the man’s voice, but it quickly vanished back into trepidation. “I guess I could implore you against asking me to kill someone, if you don’t mind.”

Yuri blanched. “Yeah, no. I don’t hate anyone that much.”

And the trepidation turned to relief. “How about seeing something you’ve never seen before? That’s always fun.”

Yuri actually considered this suggestion, brow furrowing. “If it’s free….” He trailed off and thought about what the guy suggested. “Take me to see the Bahamas; like a beach or something. Instantly. And bring me back here when we’re done.” He sounded fairly dry throughout this request, arms crossed while a single eyebrow rose, defiantly skeptical.

A look of bright relief appeared on the supposed-genie’s features, and he clapped his hands together.

Then the world shifted. Not violently, but swift and swirling, like a whirlpool. When it stopped, Yuri found himself on his knees, faceplanting into hot sand.

“I am so sorry about that,” the polite tone matched a cringing, apologetic face that Yuri found deeply irritating.

Blonde hair flew around his face and in his mouth while he coughed. He was spitting out bits of beach, having landed face first. The tiny particles immediately found home all over his body, in his clothes and other places he wasn’t going to mention. Yuri looked up further to yell at his already sheepish host, and blinked when the full weight of realization settled upon his shoulders.

The dark haired man looked as if he was waiting for Yuri to say something, but Yuri was, for once, at a loss. He stood, his bare feet clumsy in the shifting sands, and started to run for the water, disbelief etched into his soul. The warm salt water splashed onto his skin, hitting his lips as he darted his tongue out to taste. Sunlight winked off the surface of the ocean before him, gleaming against the shells that littered the shoreline.

This was real. This was real.

For a moment, Yuri whipped his head around to beam fiercely at the timid figure standing on the beach. “Holy shit you’re a genie!” he yelled back, wondering why he wasn’t horrified at the presumption that existing lore should have given him. Of twisted wishes and broken dreams; all the things that were promised when selfish wishes come true. There was just delight – magic, in some form or fashion, was real. Real.

He tried to get his face under control when he saw the genie smiling at him. “I mean – I kinda knew you were something, but this is kind of cool.” Fucking extraordinary.

“Thank you, master,” was the response, and was there a hint of dryness in the other man’s tone? Yuri was almost impressed.

“Eugh, don’t call me that. I’m younger. It’s weird. Call me Yuri.”

The genie looked very surprised. “What? Oh! That – that’s interesting,” he tried to cover his expression, and it was a poor attempt.

“What? How is my name interesting?”

“It – it’s my name too. I – I used – I mean, I was called Yuuri once.” The way he said the name was …longer, but otherwise, it was nearly the same pronunciation. Judging the surprise on Yuri’s face to be something else, the man continued. “But obviously you don’t have to actually call me by my name. Actually I should have never said anything,” the man flushed as he muttered.

“I’ll call you Yura,” Yuri decided abruptly. “It’s kinda like having a ‘shorter’ version without actually shortening anything.”

“Ah – of course! Anything you like is fine.” Well, it wasn’t – not to Yuri, who was beginning to grudgingly accept the genie as a decent being of sorts, even if he was a bit of a wimp. Well. A wimp who could grant wishes. Either way, someone he’d at least like to call by name. And he wasn’t about to call his own name a bad one.

“So, no limits, really?”

“Only my own preferences. And how you word your requests,” he added, a warning at the edge of the sentence. It surprised Yuri, though he didn’t show it. Weren’t genies supposed to be craftier?

Aren’t they supposed to be not real? A sarcastic voice insisted with a snort. You should be glad he’s not a bastard.

Taking advantage of a chance to be contemplative, Yuri and his new (semi-permanent) companion turned their gazes to the ocean. The water lapped lazily at the shore, still warm as he felt splashes tickle his bare legs. It only vaguely occurred to him that he was still wearing his sleepwear.

Yuri turned his eyes to the now-named Yura and blinked. Brown eyes were softened behind the glasses on his face (another oddity – why would a genie need glasses?), and the corners of his mouth were upturned ever so slightly. Did the guy look nostalgic, or was he imagining things?

“Well,” Yuri started, stretching. “I don’t really have any wishes in mind right now. Is that okay? I mean – I’ll come up with something. But yeah. Nothin’ yet.”

“That’s alright – just don’t throw away my home anymore,” Yura got cheeky when he was relaxed. It was easier to handle, Yuri thought with a grumpy sort of acceptance.

“Yeah, yeah.”

 

 

--

 

 

His grandfather was the closest Yuri had ever had to a true parent – a true family. Sure there were a lot more cousins and aunts and uncles and even nephews at this point: but the two of them? They worked well together, and Yuri never had to look twice at the old man for support. Just because his immediate support group was small didn’t make it weak, after all.

But this – this was something else.

“Sorry! I took the liberty of reorganizing the kitchen a bit. And I swept the floor. Breakfast will be ready in a bit – I found oatmeal and I remember how to at least make that.”

See, the thing is, Yuri didn’t have friends his age to room with, which was why the apartment was so small. He knew he’d be on his own; he’d planned for it. Even if he had gotten a roommate his age, he had expected varying tides of slovenly habits. The blonde had his weaknesses when it came to certain chores (oh god why couldn’t this place have a dishwasher), so he had, at least, been mentally prepared.

“Why didn’t you just snap your fingers and make breakfast?”

“It’s more fun to cook it myself. I think it tastes better.”

Nothing – nothing – could have prepared fifteen-year-old Yuri Plisetsky for rooming with someone who so willingly housekept. Who was also a genie.

Everything was clean. The studio was cleaner now than it had been when Yuri had moved here. The countertops sparkled. The samovar was back in place as well, also very, very clean (extra clean, considering where Yuri had last tossed it).

“You can’t just rearrange my stuff!” Yuri’s fury had been dampened mostly by disbelief. “Please tell me you at least used magic to do this.”

“Oh – yes – mostly!”

He didn’t even want to know.

“Whatever, I’m going practice.”

“Ah! Take this with you!”

It was strange to settle into a routine over the next few weeks. But that’s what happened.

Yura would wake him in the morning, by the rattling of metal or ceramic or the smell of some kind of food wafting in from the kitchen he had honestly never used until now. Well technically he still wasn’t, but the fact remained that someone was using it. Before Yuri left for practice, Yura would provide a lunch of some kind. In the evenings, he no longer ordered out (when he did, he had to yell at Yura to put the damn pan down I want RUSSIAN food), and by all accounts, he never had to spend a day in swim trunks because every other bit of his laundry was dirty.

“Why the fuck are you even bothering doing all this? I haven’t asked you for anything.” Mustering up the courage to ask this had taken some doing. Frankly, he liked being waited on a bit; it reminded him of home. Yuri could play at being independent, but it was obvious now that he still had no idea what that meant.

It bothered him more than he could say, that he was learning from this strange visitor.

Yura turned to look at him, dark eyes for once lacking in warmth. The sudden absence of emotion from the normally highly expressive man startled Yuri.

“I miss it,” he said, his expression plaintive. “I just… I miss doing things like that. It’s been a long time since I’ve been …out, and I can’t really leave my home, not entirely. So being out of it and moving around keeps me happy.”

“How can you miss housework?” Yuri blanched at the notion that anyone could possibly miss such a thing. “You’re a genie. And housework sucks.”

A tiny portion of the man’s smile returned after what looked like an agony of indecision. “I used to do this a lot with people I – with good people. I helped at an inn, a long time ago.”

Yuri was not book smart, not really. He could read and absorb anything as long as he was interested, but usually the teen held no interest in anything beyond professional figure skating. It would be a surprise, he thought, if people knew he was actually very fascinated with studying motivations. He figured it would help, understanding the why of people (specifically his competition, but others too), and it had, immensely. He wasn’t always spot on – and he was shit at communicating his ideas to anyone (something he didn’t mind, sometimes) – but he was very keen regardless.

Which was why he was abruptly curious about his genie’s backstory.

“Where are you from anyway? I thought all genies were supposed to be Persian or something.”

Sudden laughter broke the thin layer of tension. “I only ever knew one other genie, and he was bright red, so I’m not sure what to tell you. We all look different, or how we chose to look, I guess.”

It wasn’t an answer to his question, Yuri bit his cheek in frustration. “Okay, so what kinda genie knows how to cook?” The moment he asked, he realized it had been the wrong thing to say. Not by Yura’s expression or reaction, but by the fact that what he really wanted to know was why bother with all the hassle when you can just clap your hands?

“I can know and do pretty much anything I want. Just because I do something by hand doesn’t mean I didn’t cheat to learn how.” Yura looked to his ward with amusement, but there was a strange edge to his tone. “Why are you so interested?”

“I’m not, dammit!”

He really was though. Furious that he’d been waylaid in his attempts to understand his mystical guest, Yuri stomped off to play video games. Green eyes glared over his controller at Yura with every failed attempt at a boss battle.

 

 

--

 

 

The busy schedule of his life precluded friends outside his line of … work? Professional athleticism was an odd career choice, no matter how much money one could make off of it. It wasn’t a ‘normal’ job, like a mechanic or software engineer. It was a hard, brutal life, with a brutal regime; it wasn’t for the weak.

Regardless, Yuri realized he needed to get his wishes done and over with. It wasn’t like he disliked Yura. Opposite, really, though he’d slay anyone who’d say otherwise. Not that there was anyone to slay, but the sentiment remained. Yura was good at heart, and even though Yuri never asked him to, he took care of the teen without question or complaint. If Yuri was being spiteful, he’d call him a mother hen.

If he was being honest, he’d just say thank you.

The main issue was that Yuri hated the idea of getting ahead without effort. Cheating, he would call it, and he would be right. If he hadn’t poured blood, sweat, and tears into what he loved to be the best at it, Yuri wasn’t sure what the point would be to bother.

But he didn’t want Yura stuck with him forever just because he was a stubborn fucker. The genie probably wanted to get the hell out of here, and Yuri was just sitting on his charity like an asshole. So it was time to fix that.

He had narrowed down a list, probably freaking out his rink mates, by asking around and seeing what people wanted. Viktor had laughed incredulously off at the question of ‘if you had three wishes, what would they be?’ Yuri had nearly taken his head off before the man had calmed down in order to answer.

 

“Well, I know what I’d wish for first: endless inspiration.”

Yuri had scoffed. “What, Mister ‘Surprise Is My Middle Name’ Nikiforov doesn’t have that already?”

“No one has that Yuri,” Viktor’s smile was wry around the edges. “Oh! And I’d want to understand everything Makkachin says.”

“She’s a dog – she’s just gonna be asking you for food and walks all the time.”

“With or without words, that’s a dog’s prerogative. Plus, it’d be so convenient! And if she was in pain, she could tell me more about what was wrong,” Viktor actually came up with a solid argument for understanding his dumb dog, and Yuri could not with this man.

The blonde teen huffed, rubbing his temple. No one was taking this seriously. Not that they should, he realized. “Alright – whatever. What’d be your third wish anyway?”

Viktor stilled and turned his gaze, finding a severe interest in watching the lengthening shadows. “To find true love, I suppose.”

“You’re a huge fucking sap, old man.”

Viktor’s smile was big. It was also empty. “I guess I am just old enough to worry about that sort of thing.”

 

His other rink mates were equally flamboyant, but Viktor’s answers came closest to being genuine. This surprised him more than anything else.

It also helped him narrow down what he wanted.

“Yura,” he called out after dinner. “I think I have a wish.”

The genie had been working on making a proper cup of tea. Every time he’d tried to conjure it for himself (because apparently earl grey and rooibos wasn’t good enough for this guy), he complained that the green tea wasn’t the right flavor, or that the jasmine wasn’t aromatic enough. Yuri had been near to just ordering some for the nitpicking to cease, but today, it seemed, Yura had found what he was looking for. Dark eyes turned to him in surprise over the rim of his cup. “Really?”

“Yeah. Uh. This is probably gonna be a weird wish.”

The genie probably thought the basic concept of a wish eluded Yuri. “I have undoubtedly heard stranger,” he assured, not unkindly. There was always a distinct lack of malice behind Yura’s eyes, and Yuri wondered what kind of person could be so magnanimous all the time. Then again, a genie was – in many ways – a slave…so perhaps it wasn’t benevolence after all. Maybe.

Yuri gave the man a studying look. Big brown eyes practically sparkled at him.

…Yura was as wicked as a tea cozy.

The blonde teen sighed, and rubbed the back of his neck. “I…I want the best figure skating coach in the world to teach me everything they know.”

Yura’s eyebrows shot upward, but the smile on his face precluded astonishment. “I like it,” not that he needed to approve, but somehow it made Yuri feel better. “Any other specifics?”

Something in Yura’s voice made Yuri pause. “I better get along with them!” It sounded more snappish than he felt, so he reeled the emotion back in, just a bit. “I mean – we have to work together well. Can’t be just some smug asshole. Otherwise I might as well just ask Viktor to coach me.” Trailing off into a grumble wasn’t helpful, but whatever. Viktor wasn’t actually that bad, but ugh, the guy grated sometimes. And not for the reasons Yakov would name. (While Yuri sometimes aligned perfectly with the old man’s rational, it wasn’t always so. Yuri was just as capable of giving his coach an aneurysm as Viktor Nikiforov, and that was something in which his dark teenaged soul took pride.)

The Asian man nodded. “I think that should be perfectly doable.” He did take a moment to finish his tea, but Yuri could see he seemed eager and curious. The approval radiated off of him like sunlight.

Yuri tried not to feel better for it.

When Yura finally stood, he rolled his shoulders and looked at Yuri hard for one moment. Then smiled and brought his hands together with a clap that sounded like thunder.

They both blinked when no one else popped into existence nearby. Yuri felt pretty ridiculous that materialization was now something he was getting used to. “What gives? Where are they?”

Yura looked equally puzzled. “I uh – I’m very certain I did that request correctly. I’m not sure, I – oh!”

He had moved forward, or tried to. There was a large black sports bag that was very much not Yuri’s placed at their feet, and when Yura stooped to open it they found brand new skates and other exercise clothes suitable for a figure skater.

“Well…that’s about two-tenths of my wish.” The teen had crossed his arms, but his expression was wry. “There should be a person attached to the sports equipment you know.”

Frustrated, the genie’s brow furrowed. “Right.” He wasn’t looking at Yuri, but still rummaging through the bag. Worry was beginning to bleed into the irritation, before erasing it as Yura pulled out clothing and a wallet…? A full wallet? “What is …?” Yura mumbled to himself as he began to inspect it.

“Look, am I supposed to mold the fucker from clay? Because that’s gonna be a problem,” Yuri bit out, not mad, but definitely a little out to sea. When he didn’t get a response from the genie, Yuri turned down the hissing cat stance and kneeled to look at the wallet instead. “What’s the deal?”

Yura made a very interesting face; he looked like he wanted to scream but also cry and maybe bury himself in a hole somewhere. The genie turned the wallet over to Yuri and sat back, obviously stunned as he put his hands on this head before covering his face. “This was not supposed to happen.” The words came out choked.

Inspecting it for himself, Yuri discovered credit cards and a decent amount of rubles. The thing that made him speechless was the ID behind clear laminate. Юри Кацуки [Yuuri Katsuki] was the name on the card, and the face next to it was bespectacled, Japanese, and absolutely belonged to the genie now trying to melt into the floor.

What the fuck even.